The average cost of full-coverage auto insurance for 18-year-olds is $616 per month.
Find Cheap 18-Year-Old Auto Insurance Quotes
Erie, Geico and USAA were the cheapest companies based on our analysis of thousands of auto insurance quotes for 18-year-old drivers from 29 companies across the country. To find the cheapest rates for you, get quotes from multiple companies.
How much is car insurance for 18-year-old drivers?
Full-coverage car insurance for an 18-year-old driver costs an average $7,396 per year, or $616 a month. We found a $7,551 difference between annual rates from the cheapest insurer, Erie, and the most expensive insurer, Allstate. Price differences like this show why it's so important to compare insurance quotes to make sure you get the best rates.
Find Cheap 18-Year-Old Auto Insurance Quotes
Find the Cheapest Insurers for Young Drivers in Each State
- Erie offers the cheapest rates, at $3,173 annually, though it's only available in 13 states.
- USAA, with an annual premium of $3,963, offers the second-cheapest rates among the insurers we looked at. However, the company only offers car insurance policies to current and former members of the military and their families.
- Geico, with an annual premium of $4,224, is the cheapest car insurance company for 18-year-olds that is widely available across the country.
How do car insurance rates for 18-year-olds compare to other ages?
Drivers under the age of 25 tend to have higher insurance rates because they are considered more at-risk drivers. As you get older and have more years of driving under your belt, your insurance rates should start to drop.
For example, someone who turns 18 years old will, on average, see their annual rate decrease by $1,445.
Average cost of car insurance for 18-year-old male vs. female drivers
The average cost of car insurance for 18-year-old female drivers is cheaper than that for 18-year-old male drivers. For 18-year-olds, female drivers pay $7,030 per year on average, while male drivers pay $7,762.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the motor vehicle death rate for male drivers ages 16 to 19 is more than double the rate for female drivers in that age group, making male teens a significantly higher risk to insurers.
However, some states — California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan (in certain cities), Montana, North Carolina and Pennsylvania — prohibit insurers from using gender to determine car insurance rates. Male and female drivers in these states should pay the same price for auto insurance coverage, all else being equal.
Do car insurance rates go down at age 18?
Our analysis found that most young drivers see their insurance rates go down by 12% when they turn 18. At 18 years old, you pose less of a risk to insurers than newly licensed 16- and 17-year-olds do, and your rates reflect that.
New drivers are the exception to this rule. If you are a new driver at 18 years old and are getting car insurance for the first time, you will likely pay more than a driver who was licensed at age 16 and has two years of driving experience.
Cheapest auto insurance companies for 18-year-olds by state
Geico is the cheapest insurer in three out of nine states, according to our analysis.
We did not include USAA in these recommendations, as its policies only serve current or former military members and their families. If USAA were included, it would offer the cheapest auto insurance for 20-year-olds in Illinois, Michigan, New York and Texas.
Best cheap car insurance for 18-year-olds by state
We found that North Carolina is the cheapest state for an 18-year-old to get car insurance, with an annual premium 54% cheaper than the overall average. Michigan is by far the most expensive state, with annual auto insurance costs for 18-year-olds almost three times more expensive than average.
Can an 18-year-old get their own car insurance?
An 18-year-old can purchase their own car insurance policy. However, we recommend getting added to your parents' policy if possible, as it's cheaper than taking out your own separate policy.
The average cost of adding an 18-year-old to a parent's car insurance policy is $3,020 annually, but the average cost of an 18-year-old getting their own car insurance is $7,396 annually.
Parents will likely see a spike in their rates when they add a teen driver to their policy, but by asking for discounts, they can help offset the increased cost. If the teen drives a separate car, for instance, parents might be able to obtain a multi-car discount. And if parents opt to stay with the same insurer for their teen's car, they may be rewarded with a loyalty discount.
How to get cheap car insurance at 18 years old
Besides staying on your parents' policy, the best strategy to get cheap auto insurance quotes is to shop around. Prices can differ by the thousands, so it is beneficial to get free car insurance quotes from multiple insurers to compare rates.
However, there are a number of other strategies 18-year-olds can use to secure auto insurance deals:
Explore discount opportunities. Insurers offer many discounts for which you may be eligible. If you are an 18-year-old high school or college student, you can get a good student discount on car insurance, provided you keep your GPA above a certain threshold.
College students who leave their car at their parents' home during the academic year and attend a university more than 100 miles away can often get an away-from-home student discount, and perhaps a low-mileage discount.
Drive an affordable car. Expensive cars cost more to repair, which means they also cost more to insure. Our research found that the cars with the cheapest insurance for 18-year-olds included SUVs like the Subaru Outback and the Buick Encore, and safer sports cars like the Mazda MX-5 Miata and the Volkswagen Golf GTI.
Increase your deductible. Another way to lower your insurance rate is to elect a higher deductible. However, this means you will pay more out of pocket if you file a claim.
Use a telematics program. By sharing your driving data with your auto insurer via a telematics tracking device, you can prove that you're a safe driver worthy of lower premiums. Usage-based auto insurance lets you earn significant discounts if you're generally a safe driver.
Reconsider how much coverage you need. Because 18-year-old drivers are statistically more likely to get into accidents, it's generally wise to buy a full-coverage policy that includes both collision and comprehensive insurance. However, a minimum-coverage policy might work if you, like many young drivers, have an older car and repairs would cost more than the car is worth.
Get multiple rates. It's always best to shop around and get quotes from multiple insurers to ensure you find the best rates and coverage.
Short-term car insurance for 18-year-olds
Reputable car insurance companies do not sell short-term car insurance. If you're an 18-year-old driver and you see ads for one-day, one-week or one-month car insurance, don't be tempted. Insurance policies generally only come in six-month or one-year terms, although you can typically cancel them at any time, and you can choose to pay monthly.
We collected car insurance quotes for thousands of ZIP codes across nine of the most populated states in the U.S. Our sample drivers were single male and female 18-year-olds who drove a 2015 Honda Civic EX and had clean driving records.
We compared rates for full-coverage policies with the following limits:
|Bodily injury liability||$50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident|
|Property damage liability||$25,000 per accident|
|Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury||$50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident|
|Comprehensive and collision||$500 deductible|
|Personal injury protection (PIP)||Minimum, when required by state|
The analysis included 29 insurance companies, and rates were only added to our list of average prices and recommendations if their policies were available in at least three of the nine states.
Our analysis pulled insurance rate data from Quadrant Information Services. The rates we collected were publicly sourced from insurer filings and should only be used for comparative purposes, as your own quotes may differ from our averages.
Frequently asked questions
What is the average monthly cost of car insurance for an 18-year-old?
An 18-year-old can expect to pay an average of $616 per month for full-coverage car insurance. Erie offers the cheapest rates we found, at $264 per month.
Can an 18-year-old get car insurance on their own?
Yes, 18-year-olds can get car insurance policies on their own. However, you could pay 60% less if you share a policy with your parents or an older driver.